Through woven woods

Every day I read a million news articles, I listen to a million talk shows, I watch a million documentairies, I scan a million scientific publications, I receive a million social media messages, I think about a million promises by our leaders, I see a million best pictures, I learn about a million frameworks, methods and models, I see a million pictures of happy people at a million conferences with a million of flowers, certificates, honours and medals, I cry a million tears for them dying from poverty and hunger, I wonder about a million leafs falling again and again and I keep a million hopes alive.

I sit quietly beside Frodo on the floor of the deep forest after Galadriel has left us. I listen to a million echoes around me and just wonder about the world and what to do next.

Through woven woods in Elvenhome
She lightly fled on dancing feet,
And left him lonely still to roam
In the silent forest listening.

– J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings.


Picture: Kruf, J.P. (2019) Snow Forest [fine are print]. Breda: Private collection.

Ode aan het bosberaad

© Jack Kruf (2014). Het Bosberaad [fine art print]. Breda: Private collection.

Dit groepje bomen is over van wat eens een groot en vooral wijs bos was. Een verlaten groepje dat mijn aandacht trok. Zij zijn de laatst overgeblevenen, restanten en als zodanig onderdeel van een (zwaar uitgedund) bosberaad.

De bomen spraken over hoe zij nu toch definitief het pad wilden terugvinden naar waar zij thuishoorden, het bos, hun bos. Een verwoede poging, zo meende ik te ontwaren. Protest ook.

Ik liep even naast Frodo en Sam in het Oude Bos en droomde over de trots en gewortelde wijsheid van de bomen:

“As they listened, they began to understand the lives of the Forest, apart from themselves, indeed to feel themselves as the strangers where all other things were at home. […] Tom’s words laid bare the hearts of trees and their thoughts, which were dark and strange, and filled with a hatred of things that go free upon the earth, gnawing, biting, breaking, hacking, burning: destroyers and usurpers. It was not called the Old Forest without reason, for it was indeed ancient, a survivor of vast forgotten woods; and in there lived yet, ageing no quicker than the hills, the fathers of the fathers of trees, remembering times when they were lords. The countless years had filled them with pride and rooted wisdom, and with malice.”

Tolkien (1954)

Ik breng een stille ode aan dit bosberaad.

Over ‘begrip’ en het bos

John Muir:

“The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.”

Natuurvorser Muir pleit in zijn omvangrijke onderzoek én inspanningen voor de bescherming van natuurgebieden voor begrip en respect voor de complexiteit van ecosystemen.

De kracht van het argument

Jürgen Habermas:

“Niet de status van de spreker, maar de kracht van het argument moet het uitgangspunt vormen van besluitvorming.”

Filosoof Habermas pleit in zijn omvangrijke oeuvre voor een sterke civil society met een goed functionerende publieke ruimte waarin communicatief kan worden gehandeld, door bekritiseerbare argumenten aan te dragen en te zoeken naar wederzijds begrip.

Sharing knowledge

Lucius Annaeus Seneca:

“Nothing will ever please me, no matter how excellent or beneficial, if I must retain the knowledge of it to myself… and if wisdom were given me under the express condition that it must be kept hidden and not uttered, I should refuse it… No good thing is pleasant to possess, without friends to share it”.

* Letters from a Stoic

The ability of democracy

Quote by Al Gore

“It is now apparent that the climate crisis is posing an unprecedented threat not only to the future livability of the planet but also to our assumptions about the ability of democracy and capitalism to recognize this threat for what it is and respond with appropriate boldness, scope, and urgency. Global warming has been described as the greatest market failure in history. It is also—so far—the biggest failure of democratic governance in history.”

From: Our Choice: Changing the way we think (Chapter 14), 2009.